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May 12, 2021

Request:  Did the City of Surrey violate the open meetings law by failing to provide proper notice of a special meeting and by continuing to discuss public business after the meeting adjourned?

Conclusion: The City of Surrey held a special meeting to discuss a protocol for handling complaints. The city posted a meeting notice listing the date and time but not the location of the special meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, the Mayor read a lengthy prepared statement that was not included on the meeting notice. The meeting then continued with the items listed on the notice. Meeting notices must include the location of the meeting. For a special meeting, only the items listed on the meeting notice may be discussed. In both respects, the city violated the law. After the meeting adjourned, three council members continued discussions of public business, which discussions they memorialized in writing at the city’s November regular meeting. The council members had not been delegated any authority nor did they comprise a quorum of the seven member council. Therefore, their discussions were not subject to the open meetings law.

Opinion: 2021-O-04

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